The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) extended its winning streak to four sessions on Wednesday, after nearly 200,000 private sector jobs were added in March. Payroll processor ADP estimated employers added about 191,000 jobs last month, marking the first time private payrolls have reached pre-crash levels. This bodes well for the Labor Department's official monthly payroll tally on Friday. Shares of Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ:MYGN), and Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (NASDAQ:MPEL) all ended as big movers in the stock market today. The Dow added 40 points, or 0.2%, to end at 16,573 on Wednesday.
Home Depot was one of the 18 blue chip stocks helping the Dow higher today, adding 0.7% in trading. While there wasn't a major company-specific development today, some of Home Depot's long-term initiatives should make shareholders feel fuzzy and warm inside (while hopefully making their pockets feel heavy). As my colleague Dan Moskowitz notes, Home Depot understands omnichannel integration, and even has its own in-house service, Redbeacon, devoted to helping customers find the ideal contractor. Watch out, Angie's List!
Molecular diagnostic company Myriad Genetics saw shares soar 11.5% today after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced higher reimbursement levels than expected for gene sequencing tests. Specifically, Myriad's BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 gene tests will now be supported to the tune of $2,767 per test, a nearly 40% increase from the $2,021 received before. This is not only good news for shareholders, but for women using Myriad's products to test for breast cancer, as their costs will come down in turn.
Lastly, shares of Melco Crown Entertainment lost 3.3% Wednesday, just a day after shares jumped nearly 6% on the continuation of explosive growth in Macau, the gambling capital of the world. Melco Crown is opening a third casino in the Chinese "special region" in 2015, and billionaire CEO Lawrence Ho said the company is looking to hire 8,000 workers for the Hollywood-themed Studio City casino and resort. While stocks with a hand in Macau gaming may be priced expensively right now, not just anyone can waltz in and obtain a gaming permit, so as long as the dice keep rolling and the gamblers keep betting, competition will be hard to come by.
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